*to Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Toronto is:

like living in Saitama, but paying Tokyo prices.

I said that to a bunch of international school teachers the other day to explain why I hate the place.  Got a laugh.  I am sure any readers will understand just how much contempt is rolled into that one sentence.  Even better than something I said at a Toronto backyard barbeque among my heavily mortgaged friends, when my J-wife and I were getting the what-for for being renters,  pour épater les petit-bourgeoise:
I'm not going to pay Toronto prices, and only get to live in Toronto for it.
With a mouth like that I have already lost those Toronto friends subsidizing the banks with mortgages more than their houses are worth, which will be the case within twelve-months.  Even if I did have to tell them how much less I will have paid for a house in two years than they paid for theirs a few years previously it won't come to blows: Torontonians are as passive-aggressive as the Japanese, and like the Japanese, only 'brave' locked up inside their own cars.

My own brother, who worked on Wall Street during the crash, but made off like a bandit, and is now working for an important Canadian public financial institution, god help us, told me the analyses showing there will be a repeat of the American housing crash are weak.  To which I said:
So what's the downside for me?  Right now it makes more sense for us to invest what we have and rent, and if prices never come down that will still be true.  If they come down and we buy we'll have done far better than our stupid friends.  Explain the flaw in my logic.
 He couldn't.


  1. "I'm not going to pay Toronto prices, and only get to live in Toronto for it."

    Su-weet!! Bill Shake a spear is not safe with you about ;)

    That magic car bubble is one of my favorites to burst. People just freeze if you walk up to their window at a light or stop sign.

  2. Tried to comment and then end up deleting what has been written. I like this post and especially appreciate the warning about Torotonian's passive-aggressive characteristics.

  3. Early thirties and I still rent, with no plan to change that. My rent is about 100 bucks less than my sister's house payment. However, she has to pay into a HOA and has to 'save for a rainy day'. Major home repair and appliances isn't something I have to plan for. Also with renting my water/trash is all part of rent. And I don't even have to have the gas on because of the weather here and all the appliances are electric.

    And yet I get guff about not owning from people my age that are constantly fighting about money because of their mortgages. I just sit back quietly and laugh. I have the luxury to pay less, not worry about replacing a roof and I am not trapped here. I am surviving the real estate fiasco of California because I am stubbornly renting because I find it a wiser decision.

    1. Amazing that housing bubbles are based on peer and generational pressure.